Red Lobster
Foods from Red Lobster

2014 Aug 10
I would like to start this review by stating that I love my grandfather, and I am willing to make sacrifices, and suffer to make him happy.

So, now that I have stated that, it was Sunday, and our usual family dinner night. Instead of homecooked meal, we decided to go to my grandpa's favourite restaurant, Red Lobster.

So, I bet you all can guess how this review is going, aren't you?

Let me just start bit by bit. First, the drinks. My grandfather enjoyed a bottle of wine. I got what they call a top shelf margarita on the rocks. Which is a standard marg, with as shot of Grand Marnier. It was the best thing I had. was mediocre at best. Didn't enjoy it much.

Now, onto the bread! Ah yes, the much written about Cheesy Biscuits. I learned how to make em after eating them. Take a spoonfull of baking soda, sprinkle alot of salt on it, and then shove it in your mouth!

Now, my main. I picked the shrimp fettuccini alfredo. Well, to start, when it arrived, I saw a thick layer of pooled grease around the edge. It was piled high with tiny shrimp, so not really that bad. Standard overcooked, but hey, that's how it goes. It was drenched in cheese and butter, and ugh. I ate half, and felt super sick.

So, I think is both my longest review, and my most vitrolic. Let me conclude with this, my grandfather loved his meal, so, in the end, it was a good night, and I'm glad he enjoyed it.

2012 Aug 1
I went to Red Lobster and all I got was crabs.

Went to the Merivale location recently for their promotion. We ended up turning around and going home the first time because they said it was a 45 minute wait. Annoying to get dressed up just to go home again. The second try was a 15 minute wait for a table which was not bad but not great either. Just one reason I avoid these pseudo-classy chain restaurants. The only time I've been able to get in right away has been late in the evening. Take note, people who hate waiting.

We got seated way in the back next to the noisy kitchen, with the server's station right behind my date. On the other side behind me was a family with a couple of babies. Atmosphere was awful; like being in a McDonald's playplace. One of the kids bawled for most of our dinner, the other one would randomly screech and bang cutlery, and with the servers always hanging around our table it was awkward to talk to my date. Why don't they seat the families on one side of the restaurant and the dates on the other side? I try to be understanding of kids and tune them out, but after 20 minutes of that it was grating. ...and then it escalated.

There was a baby on the other side of the restaurant that started yelling and crying as well. Another family arrived and the toddler threw an absolute fit while the parents tried to force her into a high chair. People can afford to eat lobster but not get a babysitter. I don't get it. It was total pandemonium inside this place! Seat the families together somewhere so people who just want to enjoy their food and relax after work can have some peace!

My date was also treated to a view of someone's butt crack for 30 minutes because a family in front of him was seated at a table too small for them and were on chairs out in the walking area. This place is too small for the amount of business it's getting!

Food was standard Red Lobster fare. I got broccoli as a side -- two tiny pieces of broccoli. Pathetic. Too much butter for things that don't need butter. I usually get a big pile of crab when I go here and it takes years to crack them open, all the while spraying juice and bits of exoskeleton on your date. Red Lobster tries to make itself look classy on the surface but it's really not classy at all. I feel like a barbarian while I'm eating here, and the screaming babies and exposed butt cracks don't help. At least I got crab.

2011 Sep 14
Thanks Terry for the information you posted.

Frankly I'm shocked by how much trouble this whole BYOW business is in Ontario. Then again, everything here seems to be so stiff ;)

Good to know the rules, but I'm willing to bet most folks here do not know simply because BYOW is not advertized, it is not talked about and obviously some restos are not putting policy on their sites.

I would think that with all the "rules", restaurants should not be surprised that patrons do not know the rules. I'm not trying to argue, but as I said I doubt many know the silly rules to BYOW. I'm also willing to bet that most folks don't even bother with it because of the reasons I mentionned.

In QC, if you see a sign saying BYOW, you simply bring it.

2011 Sep 13
You keep coming back to your point that BYO is an evil thing, in Ontario.

To be clear (tho i think it was clear), I was referring to QC, not Ontario, my point being that BYO works in QC without making curious demands that customers document the chain of possession of their wine before opening it.

Also in QC (and strikingly unlike Ont), typically one knows one is going to a BYO restau and preps accordingly. Conveniently, if one didn't know it was BYO, you can go into pretty much any corner store and buy decent dep-wine

That said, if a customer does choose to go to a restaurant, in Ont, that is known to be BYO, and brings a bottle... and there we are.

2011 Sep 12
I'm curious, how many places do you know of that has been successfully doing it for years?

'...except for all those restaurants that have been doing it for years because they find it productive.' I think you're confusing Ontario with Quebec...

There are over 10,000 licensed establishments in Ontario, only around 300 have BYOW. All but a very few carry a corkage fee & most only offer it on off nights (Sunday, Monday). If it were as beneficial as you’re implying there would be far more places offering it.

The liquor board is VERY strict about products we use. While I agree that it's odd for a 'demand of a LCBO receipt of purchase' I can understand their concern (once again BYOW only applies to LCBO brands). I still think that if you plan on going to a restaurant with a birthday cake or a bottle of wine its proper etiquette to ask permission.

Just so you understand it is NOT the restaurants in Ontario gouging the patrons, the LCBO gouges the licensee, we pay the same amount for our spirits as you do, how would anyone stay in business selling product @ cost?


2011 Sep 12
@Terry re "...the reason it's not advertised or promoted was because for restaurants it's counter-productive."

...except for all those restaurants who have been doing it for years because they find it productive.

I see your entirely valid and well-explained point as to why you think it's counter-productive and wouldn't do it at your establishment.

What i'm missing is why you seem to be stating that those restaurants that do choose to do it should demand proof-of-purchase from customers on arrival.

2011 Sep 9
Ok, let me try to explain this one more time...

In Quebec if you are BYOB, you ARE NOT LICENSED, You don't carry any inventory. Those establishments don't lose anything.

It's completly different in Ontario, it's mirrored behind the Alberta Model(which less than 2% Bring any product into restaurants).

We actually have BYOW allowed on Sundays & Mondays
($15 corkage fee), the only reason we aquired BYOW was because at the time the only way to do 'bring the rest home' you had to have the BYOW policy, that's not the c ase anymore, every licensed establishment in Ontario can do BTRH.

There are far more places that allow BYOW than you think, the reason it's not advertised or promoted was because for restaurants it's counter-productive...

Hope that clears things up a bit.


2011 Sep 9
Okay, maybe I have a bit too much time on my hands, but this whole thing sounds unusual, there aren't that many restaurants in Ottawa that allow BYO, I was surprised to hear that Red Lobster allows this, looked on their website to find out their policy, couldn't find anything so I e-mailed them to inquire. I'll let you know what they say ;)

2011 Sep 9
My party hasn't been anywhere near a Red Lobster in 20 years, but if i was going, and bringing a bottle (knowing it was BYO), i wouldn't call ahead to warn them.

My understanding is that the point of BYO is for customers avoid the substantially marked-up prices of a restau's wine list and therefore dine there more often and spend more on food. This has worked, to widespread acceptance and great success, in Montreal, for decades, so it would appear that yes, there is value to a restaurant to do this.

The restaurant has the option of a corking fee if it wants to make this option available but feels the effort in accomodating it reflects a cost that should be passed on to the customer.

Requiring customers to prove the point of origin of their wine is 'stupid business' practice, in my opinion, because the first time someone shows up with a bottle and cannot consume it because they didn't keep the scrap of paper from the LCBO is likely the last time they dine there.

2011 Sep 8
Why is it 'stupid business', did your party let Red Lobster know you were bringing your own wine?

Bringing your own wine to a restaurant has little to no value for the restaurant, personally I don't get it, going out for dinner shouldn't be part of a grocery list. Would it be OK to bring your own Lobster? Why not serve yourself?

Just my opinion